New Zealand pinot noir Craggy Range is surpassing its American equivalents in blind tastings for critics. This autumn, at New York restaurant Eleven Madison, six top pinot noirs from California, Oregon and Burgundy (the most expensive of which was US$425 per bottle) were served blind alongside six of Craggy Range’s pinots. The two dozen or so tasters were asked to guess where each wine was from, then rank them on taste from one to 12. In the final scoring, an average among all the tasters’ scores, Craggy Range dominated, claiming tasting spots one through five. Its sixth entry came in eighth place. A similar thing occurred at a tasting, a few weeks prior, for several critics and writers in San Francisco. There, Craggy Range’s Bordeaux-style merlot, called Sophia (US$50), bested a range of top Bordeaux wines as well as some other entries from New Zealand. The Château Mouton-Rothschild Pauillac 2006 (US$695) landed in 11th place out of 12.